Journalists Killed  |  Costa Rica

Parmenio Medina Pérez

"La Patada"

July 7, 2001, in San José, Costa Rica

Medina, producer and host of the weekly radio program "La Patada" (The Kick), was murdered by unknown assailants who shot him three times at close range with a .38-caliber weapon, once in the back and twice in the head.

Medina's 28-year-old program often denounced official corruption and earned him numerous threats. Starting in 1999, on-air accusations he made about alleged fiscal improprieties at a local Catholic radio station led to its closure and an investigation of its former director.

Two months before his murder, Medina received death threats in connection with the accusations, and unknown attackers fired bullets at his house. Although Medina had been under police protection, he asked that it be lifted just days before his death.

In a July 10 letter, CPJ praised President Miguel Angel Rodríguez Echeverría for condemning the murder and encouraged the president to ensure that the perpetrators were caught. President Rodríguez responded with an e-mail message saying, "[M]y government is committed to cooperate as best as it can with the judicial authorities to clarify these facts until their ultimate consequences and will do all it can to discover the material and intellectual authors."

On December 19, 2007, a court in San José, Costa Rica's capital, convicted businessman Omar Chaves of ordering Medina's murder, and gunman Luis Alberto Aguirre Jaime of carrying it out. Father Mínor de Jesús Calvo Aguilar, the other accused mastermind, was acquitted in the murder case but convicted of fraud and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Chaves also got an additional 12-year jail term on the fraud charge. Six other suspects, accused of being intermediaries in the crime, were acquitted.


Medium: Radio

Job: Producer

Beats Covered: Corruption

Gender: Male

Local or Foreign: Local

Freelance: No

Type of Death: Murder

Suspected Source of Fire: Unknown Fire

Impunity: No

Taken Captive: No

Tortured: No

Threatened: Yes


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